The Scoop on Beyoncé’s New Film: Cadillac Records

The film Cadillac Records tells the story of the pioneering Chicago blues label Chess Records, starring Beyoncé Knowles, 27, as legendary singer Etta James.

Knowles makes a strong entrance on screen. She’s introduced to the label’s co-founder (played by Adrien Brody, 35) in a hotel room.

She’s sprawled across a bed and barks, “Don’t be looking at me like I ain’t wearing no drawers.”

Her character curses at everyone and everything in sight before retreating to the bathroom. There she belts out the voice that launched a slew of classic R&B hits.

Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly writes, “Etta James, a torch rocker and junkie played by Beyoncé Knowles, just about burns a hole in the screen with her sultry torment. As a woman who rocked the house but could get no satisfaction, Beyoncé does a Lady Sings the Blues in miniature. Now will someone give this lady a great lead role?”

John Anderson of Variety writes, “Jeffrey Wright’s Waters is unforgettable, Eamonn Walker gives an unnerving performance as rival bluesman Howlin’ Wolf, and Beyonce Knowles’ Etta James should put bottoms in seats.”

Stephen Garrett of Time Out New York says, “As with any movie that re-creates outsize performers, the pleasures of Cadillac Records stem from watching the actors channel their respective icons: Jeffrey Wright delivers a ferocious Muddy Waters, Eamonn Walker is downright chilling as Howlin’ Wolf, Beyoncé Knowles conjures Etta James with sass and verve, and Mos Def is delirious as Chuck Berry.”